Central Cambria Graduate Danchanko Contributes to St. Francis’ Record Achievement

Nov. 24 — LORETTO — As a bumbling freshman playing men’s Division I college basketball, Ebensburg’s Daric Danchanko’s chances of playing, let alone scoring, are limited to the point that he could kick himself when he made a nice spin with 90 seconds was all it took to block the shot when he didn’t go up with authority.

“I smelled it,” Danchanko said sheepishly. “As soon as I did that, I was like, ‘I should have dunked that.’ You just have to have that attitude for the next game.”

Danchanko made the most of another chance and scored his first college bucket after throwing back his own missed three-pointer.

Danchanko was one of 15 St. Francis players to score as Red Flash made history by setting a new team record for Stokes Building teams in Wednesday night’s 120-53 win over Division III member Franciscan at DeGol Arena set up.

Josh Cohen continued his 40-point game Monday against Lehigh with 19 rebounds, five rebounds and five assists for the Red Flash, shooting 6-for-9 from the floor. Max Land scored 4/6/3 and contributed 16 points, and Marlon Hargis scored 14 points. Luke Ruggery and Brad McCabe each scored 11 from the bench.

Danchanko came into play for the finals at 3:55 and finished with three points and three rebounds.

“I’ll never forget it, my first college bucket,” said Danchanko, product of Central Cambria High School. “I’m very grateful to be with a great group of guys, a great team, in a great environment. Just being able to play is a blessing.”

The 120 points was the fourth-highest in program history, even surpassing the 115 scored by the Keith Braxton and Isaiah Blackmon-led Red Flash against the Barons in 2019. The last time St. Francis scored more was when it hung 122 in New Hampshire in 1971.

St. Francis had 81 points when Red Flash coach Rob Krimmel drew his starters with 15:05 in the game. Ruggery’s 3 from the top of the button took the Red Flash past the century mark with 101 and 8:10 remaining.

“It was great to see how the boys played,” said Krimmel. “Everyone scored and I thought they did it in a productive way. It wasn’t one-on-one, me-basketball. You have done a good job.”

Land came out to shoot free throws well past the final buzzer in Monday’s loss, the third consecutive Red Flash that dropped them to 1-4. He said it wasn’t out of frustration or desperation, just a need to get his stroke back on track. The junior wing was 6-for-9 from the field like Cohen and grabbed eight team-high rebounds.

“It was a great experience tonight,” said Land. “We got everyone in there to score a goal. Everyone played. Everyone was involved. It was just a good joint performance.”

Award-winning frontcourt recruit Miles Webb – who was injured – got his first action of the year for the Red Flash. He scored his first bucket for the Red Flash on a driving hook with 4:41 left.

Bishop Carroll Catholic product Tristan McDannell was in the starting lineup for Franciscan (0-4). The Claysburg 6-Foot Junior Guards scored seven points. Only Travis Lien achieved double-digit values ​​for the Barons with 15 points.

McDannell had positioned a contingent of fans, led by his high school coach Cosie Aliquo, behind the Barons’ bench.

“It was a pretty cool experience,” said McDannell. “I’ve been away from home for a couple of years now so it’s always nice to come back home. We definitely see a lot of talent (in our conference game) in the season, but these (St. Francis) kids are just big on it. You play big guys, but when they move like that, it’s different.

It would be easy to imagine Danchanko playing against or alongside McDannell – 6-8 players are in high demand in Division III – but Danchanko decided to take a different tack and stay close to home at St. Francis.

“During my visit, Coach Krim said he wanted us all to become better people,” said Danchanko. “I just noticed that. I liked that.”

St. Francis never fell behind after opening the scoring in a minute with a four-point game – Land drove to a layup and was fouled and although he didn’t make the ensuing free through, Hargis was there to keep going . The Red Flash had a 15-point lead when Yann Yonkeu’s putback brought Franciscan to the board at 2:58 p.m.

By halftime, Cohen, Land and Hargis were all in double figures and St. Francis had built a 64-28 lead. It was the most points St. Francis have had at halftime in a game in pretty much eight years.

Cohen led all scorers with 14, and St. Francis was 8-to-15 from 3-point range.